Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - SUSTAINABLE FUELUBE (CO2 reduction through automotive biocomponent enabling and sustainable step changes in fuels and lubricants performance)

Eight research institutions from seven EU member states have been brought together with two Shell global solutions research and technology centres in Thornton, United Kingdom and Hamburg, Germany by a Marie Curie FP6 Transfer of Knowledge initiative 'Sustainable Fuelube'. Over the 2005 - 2009 Marie Curie project phase, fellows from each university or research institution spent two years at Shell global solutions research and technology centres in the United Kingdom where they worked on projects to improve combustion and lubrication efficiency. By enabling the successful introduction of bio-components into future fuels and lubricant formulations, these projects support European Union environmental targets for improving local air quality, sustainability and combating climate change.

Establishing long-lasting university-industry relationships across national boundaries is an objective of the Marie Curie scheme. Up-to-date research knowledge is brought to industry via the research fellow and his / her academic supervisor. During the two-year Shell assignment, the fellow carried out research, and learned how Shell global solutions manages R&D projects and exploits this knowledge by developing innovative, sustainable products. Several of the research fellows were involved in a series of inter-linked projects involving theoretical chemical modelling, engine modelling and engine measurement studies of auto-ignition and pre-mixed combustion. This is focused on understanding how fuel properties affect future engine technologies, in particular knock and pre-ignition in spark ignition engines and Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion. HCCI is being developed to substantially reduce exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, as well as improving engine efficiency and thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Chemical kinetic models were developed for surrogate gasoline and validated by experiments. These models help explain why practical fuels show unexpected knock behaviour in modern engines, a phenomenon which has profound implications for future gasoline specifications and manufacture. Heat transfer in HCCI engines was modelled.

Over 10 papers were published in scientific journals and presented at conferences. Sustainable Fuelube also had significant achievements on three lubricant projects. A project which studied the balance between base oil and lubricant additives in order to help in the development of low friction lubricants resulted in project presentations at the Leeds-Lyon Symposium on Tribology in 2007 and 2008. The development of a friction modifier additive, for lubricants, was subsequently patented.

Another project to predict lubricant performance for improved efficiency involved the modification of an existing viscometer to enable mid-shear rate viscosity and friction measurements which subsequently validated the models which were developed during the fellowship.

The third project involved adhesion experiments on standard greases and low noise greases. A paper was presented on the measurement of the high pressure properties of lubricants, at the 2008 Leeds-Lyon symposium on tribology. An annual one-week workshop, held throughout the Marie Curie project, brought all the participants together (research fellows and the industrial and university supervisors), which enabled new technical synergies to be established.

Over forty researchers, representing the participating research institutions, Dublin, Eindhoven, Heidelberg, Istanbul, Lulea, Cambridge, Stockholm and Thessalonica, participated in the fourth annual workshop for 'Sustainable Fuelube' which was held at Shell technical centre in Thornton, United Kingdom in March, 2009. The scientific presentations and research results were delivered in a proactive peer reviewed environment. Several research projects are on-going during the fellows' reintegration year in their sending universities. A number of new research collaborations have been forged between Shell and the university participants.

Reported by

United Kingdom